IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) is an intriguing anabolic hormone that has proven itself to be an excellent addition to the PED cycling regimes of bodybuilders and athletes inclusive.
Not only is IGF-1 illegal without a prescription, but it also must be injected in most cases, in order to be effective. It also comes with some well-known side effects risks.
But the established power of these growth factor hormones to stimulate muscle growth and speedy recovery from injuries makes these supplements impossible to ignore by competitive bodybuilders and athletes.
Weightlifters and other athletes who try IGF-1 supplements for building muscle mass also face an ethical challenge that has nothing to do with physical gains.
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IGF-1 in Action – IGF-1 Body Building Supplement
When it comes to its outcome on the body, IGF-1 shares many of the same qualities as the human growth hormone (HGH).
This is to be expected, since HGH is, in fact, a precursor to IGF-1, signaling for its release when the HGH binds to its receptors. However, it is the IGF-1 that stimulates muscle growth and promotes protein anabolism.
IGF-1 is highly anabolic and will promote both muscle growth and formation of new muscle cells.
While the level of muscle growth from IGF-1 use may likely be less than that of most anabolic androgenic steroids in the market, the hyperplastic effects of IGF-1 are highly desired and cannot be achieved from the anabolic steroids which merely hypertrophies the existing muscle tissues.
Use of IGF-1 Bodybuilding Supplement
IGF-1 is not a substance that amateurs should consider using, as several years of anabolic steroid use is advised, before starting a course of IGF-1.
Also, one must be aware of the hypoglycemic effects of IGF-1, and other serious risks that can occur with the use of IGF-I, such as the increased risk of cancer, accelerated the growth of tumors, and enlargement of intestinal organs.
For these reasons mentioned above, it should be re-emphasized that IGF-1 should not be taken lightly by the inexperienced and novice bodybuilders.
Furthermore, due to the very short half-life of normal IGF-1 (<10mins) and its highly sensitive and unstable properties, IGF-1 is infrequently used, rather, an analog of IGF-1, known as Long R3IGF-1 is the preferred substance of choice.
This analog of IGF-1 has had a substitution for the amino acid arginine (R) at position 3 for glutamine and has been increased in length by 13 amino acids.
Basically, these modifications to IGF-1 gave rise to a peptide with lowered binding affinities for proteins that regulate IGF-1, thus improving the potency of the IGF-1.
The other benefit of Long R3IGF-I is its half-life being increased from minutes to several hours, thus the user can make use of a much smaller dose of Long R3IGF-1, and the administration does not have to be more regular.
Legality and Bans
Almost every major sporting league in the world has a ban in place on the use of any growth factors or hormones, with the most prominent of these bans, been enacted by WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency.
WADA has concluded that IGF-1 creates unfair advantages, among competitors as a result of its effects on muscle tissues.
According to the ban, the compound violates the principles of good sportsmanship and presents many risks, when abused.
However, it is good to mention that deer antler extract, a form of IGF-1 is not covered by the ban and has explicitly been approved by WADA for use.
In general, IGF-1 may be used legally, provided there is a prescription from a medical doctor, since the drug is considered a Schedule III narcotic, even though it is abundantly produced inside of every human body.
Most of the time, these prescribed forms of IGF-1, must be injected intramuscularly to be effective.
Side Effects of IGF-1
IGF-1 is a powerful hormone that its users should respect.
Accelerated tumor growth, with a heightened risk of cancer and enlargement of internal organs, are all potential side effects of IGF-1 overuse, and it would seem particularly unwise to abuse IGF-1 if you, or close family members, have a history of cancer.
IGF-1 behaves in a similar way to that of insulin and its use tends to lead toward a hypoglycemic state, and that is something that everyone should take note of, especially, those who use insulin and are planning to use IGF-1 at the same time.
Headaches that can be severe and nausea are a fairly common imminent side effect of using IGF-1 and appear to depend on the doses being utilized.
Injections are perhaps the main reason that most men and women do not try IGF-1 bodybuilding supplements, besides the issue of its legality.
Many people dislike needles and compare them with more hardcore drug use.
In most cases, injections are impractical, painful, and problematic to use or administer.
The only other form of IGF-1 currently available comes in the form of deer antler extracts, which is specifically designed as a spray product.
Many holistic medicine practitioners use this method, since the sprays deliver IGF-1 to the bloodstream with a simple mist under the tongue, being very easy to self-administer, and effective in sending active IGF-1 directly to the blood.
Finally, using IGF-1 bodybuilding supplements like deer antler spray is safe, and can be an effective way to enhance muscle growth and endurance gains without injections and banned substances.
From an ethical standpoint, adding to the advantage of the deer antler spray, the World Anti-Doping Agency has concluded that these antler sprays do not constitute a breach of good sportsmanship.
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